NHCSL - National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators rhina@nhcsl.org 202 434 8070
NHCSL is the preeminent organization serving and representing the interests of Hispanic state legislators from all states, commonwealths, and territories of the United States. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for joint action on issues of common concern to all segments of the Hispanic community; a forum for information exchange and member networking; an institute for leadership training; a liaison with sister U.S. NHCSL - National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators http://nhcsl.org/img/layout/logo.png US United States Washington 20001 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 40


02 / 22 / 2018
For Immediate Release 
Contact:  Federico de JesĂșs

--  Gov. Bruce Rauner, Sen. Dick Durbin, Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, NAFTA negotiator Karen Antebi, the Census’ Roberto Ramírez, Assemb. Teresa Benítez-Thompson (NV); Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán (VA), NLFRTA’s Rudy Arredondo, others to address participants --

WASHINGTON, DC / CHICAGO, IL – The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) announced today that the 15th National Summit of Hispanic State Legislators will be held from February 22-25, 2018 in Chicago, IL.  Latino state legislators from across the country will convene to focus on key priorities for Latino families. The summit will gather senior elected officials, state legislators, diplomats, corporate executives, community advocates, and policymakers to address some of the issues impacting Latino voters. Attendees will participate in panels to discuss a wide variety of issues, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations, the Census, infrastructure, political underrepresentation of Latinas, and other pressing issues. 

Participants will hear from a diverse set of experts on the impact of the NAFTA renegotiation on the Hispanic community, including from the number two chief negotiator for Mexico in the talks, Karen Antebi; the leading NAFTA expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, Christopher Wilson; and the Executive Director of the International Business Council at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Laura Ortega, who will moderate the panel. Legislators will also participate in a discussion on how to ensure that the Census works for all Americans, featuring the Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy of the NALEO Educational Fund, Rosalind Gold; the Assistant Division Chief for Special Population Statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau Roberto Ramírez; and the Vice President of Government Relations of NBCUniversal Telemundo, Luis Rosero. To talk about agricultural entrepreneurship, the Agriculture Policy Consultant to the Council of State Governments (CSG) and Executive Secretary of State Agriculture and Rural Leaders, Dr. Carolyn Orr, will moderate the discussion, along with the President of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association (NLFRTA), Rudy Arredondo and the President of Ceja Vineyards, Amelia Morán Ceja. Summit attendees will also participate in a panel on resilient infrastructure and will hear from the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Juan Torres; as well as the Vice Chair (and Former Chair) of the Communications Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Communications ISAC), Joseph Viens. 

In addition, NHCSL and Rutgers University will make an exciting announcement on their plans to take NHCSL’s signature Latinas Lead Initiative to the next level. In order to highlight the need to increase the number of Latinas in elected office, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti will headline a discussion on this topic, along with the Chair of NHCSL’s Latinas Lead Initiative, Senator Patricia Torres Ray (MN); the Director of Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), Prof. Deborah Walsh; the Majority Leader of the Nevada State Assembly, Assemblywoman Teresa Benítez-Thompson; Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán (VA); and the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Consumer Engagement at Nielsen, Stacie M. de Armas. Through Latinas Lead, NHCSL seeks to increase the level of participation of Latinas in state elected office. Latinas are 1.3 percent of state legislators of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and are just 1.6 percent of the members of Congress. 

Also, participants will hear from Governor Bruce Rauner (IL) and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (IL), who will address the gathering via separate video messages. 

NHCSL members will also make a series of site visits to a local startup business incubator, 1871; the state of the art facility of Studio Xfinity, and the National Museum of Mexican Art.

The Summit officially begins on Thursday, February 22, at the Westin Chicago River North.  This program will be open to the press.  Visit the NHCSL website at www.nhcsl.org for more details on this year’s National Summit of Hispanic State Legislators.  Members of the media who wish to attend or interview NHCSL officials or panelists, should contact Federico de Jesús at 312-343-8244 or communications@nhcsl.org.

NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 410 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.